And now we’ve come to the end of FX’s Fargo season four. Episode 11, “Storia Americana,” offers up a few chills, lots of thrills, more than a few kills, and a final scene that confirms a major plot twist. Don’t tune out without watching the credits as there’s a surprise appearance in the final two minutes that’s absolutely pivotal to the season four story.
Season four episode 11 opens with a montage of all the key players who’ve bitten the dust over the previous 10 episodes. Mixed into this recap of the dead are scenes of Josto (Jason Schwartzman) drinking as he thinks about his dead brother, as well as a snippet of Loy Cannon (Chris Rock) meeting with Ebal Violante (Francesco Acquaroli) in the park.
Over at the Smutny place, Loy’s men are removing boxes that had been stored in the funeral home as the property is turned back over to the family.
Loy hands over Donatello Fadda’s missing ring to Ebal in the park while over at the hospital, Doctor Harvard (Stephen Spencer) – recently recovered from the poisoning meant to kill him – calls Nurse Oraetta Mayflower a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Josto’s an angry drunk and he shows up at the hospital and grabs Dr. Harvard as he’s heading to his car. After a smack in the head, he sticks him in the backseat next to his now ex-future father-in-law, Milvin Gillis (Eric Slater). A short drive later, both men are dead in the backseat. The car’s riddled with bullet holes as Josto leans against the hood, having a smoke. He finishes up and sets the car on fire, tosses his gun, and casually walks away.
Murderess Oraetta Mayflower’s bail is paid and she’s set free. The cops don’t tell her who supplied the bail money and Oraetta (Jessie Buckley) hightails it out of there, less concerned about who and more concerned about putting some distance between herself and a jail cell.
Loy assures Ebal they can end the war if Ebal’s able to get his house in order.
Josto’s informed the deal he struck with Happy has paid off, which is actually far from the truth. Loy’s in on the plan and has his men mow down Happy and a few of his minions while they’re eating at Spud’s. Happy’s nephew, Leon (Jeremie Harris), was tasked with putting a bullet in Loy but when he arrives in Loy’s hotel room and prepares to shoot his ex-boss in the back, he’s grabbed by Opal (James Vincent Meredith) and choked to death.
Loy’s so cool and collected he doesn’t even turn around from his spot staring out the window to watch Opal off Leon.
Josto expects to be part of a celebration when he meets up with his men but instead everyone’s standing behind Ebal. He’s shocked to see Oraetta among the group and she greets him, mistakenly assuming he’s the one who bailed her out.
“You stand accused of crimes against the family,” states Ebal, adding, “You have conspired with this woman to kill your own father.”
Oraetta confirms Josto asked her to kill his father in the hospital, but Josto’s confused and claims he’s innocent. Oraetta reminds Josto he said his dad was in a lot of pain and he didn’t like to see him like that. Plus, he specifically asked, “Will you take care of him?”
Josto proclaims his innocence, but the fact they shared many nights together at her apartment doesn’t help his case. Josto attempts to order Ebal to stop this mess but to no avail. They don’t believe his story that he never wanted his father dead.
“You kill your father so you can wear the crown. Then you kill your brother so you don’t have to share,” says Ebal, holding aloft Donatello’s missing ring.
Josto’s hauled away by two of his men as Ebal informs him New York’s aware of what’s happened. Oraetta’s also grabbed and taken away.
They reluctantly share the backseat of a car and she explains they made her talk. Josto’s done with her and fully aware they’re both about to die. She begins beating him up when he calls her a hag and only stops when it annoys one of their captors enough he pulls his gun and demands she stop.
Their short road trip ends in the middle of nowhere. Oraetta and Josto are forced to stand in front of a large grave. Josto tries to talk his way out of the situation but it doesn’t work. Oraetta has one final request and asks, “Can you shoot him first so I can watch?”
Request granted. Josto’s shot in the head and falls dead into the grave. Her death follows seconds later, body tumbling into the pit and landing next to Josto’s.
Loy arrives home with his family and discovers their front door’s wide open. He has his wife and daughters remain outside while he checks the place out. Loy notices shoes on the floor, a bowl of food on the table, and a baseball cap. He quietly climbs the stairs to the second floor and spots Satchel’s clothing on the ground. Pushing open his son’s bedroom door, he finds Satchel (Rodney L. Jones III) sound asleep in his bed. His dog, Rabbit, is at his feet.
Loy grabs his son up in a hug. He calls for Buel (J. Nicole Brooks) and she slowly walks into the house as Satchel comes running downstairs. They stare at each other a moment before falling into each other’s arms. Satchel’s sisters join in the family hug.
Loy smiles but doesn’t join the group hug. Satchel stares at his father from his mother’s warm embrace.
Later, Loy has a face-to-face meeting with Ebal and learns their deal has been changed. Ebal passes Loy a typed letter and Loy discovers the Fadda mob is taking half his business. Loy crinkles up the paper and shouts, “We made a deal!”
Ebal explains this is part of a bigger deal that involves New York, Miami, Chicago, Texas, California, and Kansas City. It’s a new national plan and Loy’s just a big fish in a very small pond while the Faddas are powerful all over the country. Even if Loy killed Ebal, another man would just slip into his place. Ebal suggests Loy should adjust his thinking and be thankful they’re leaving him half his business. Loy will now work with the Faddas or else they’ll kill him. He’s effectively run out of options.
Arriving back at home, Loy informs Opal the war’s over and they’ve lost.
After sending Opal away, Loy stands at his front door and looks in on his family. Lemuel’s blowing his horn and everyone’s having a good time. He’s still standing there smiling while cradling a bag of oranges when Zelmare Roulette (Karen Aldridge) gets her revenge by stabbing him in the back, which is fitting since that’s what he did to her and what led to the death of her lover, Swanee. He spins around and is shocked Zelmare’s his attacker. She stabs Loy again – this time in his stomach – and stands over him as he slumps to the ground. “For Swanee,” she says before backing away.
Zelmare’s still standing on the porch holding the bloody knife when Satchel opens the door. He heard a commotion, and she shushes him before dropping the knife and walking away.
Satchel sits down next to his father as he takes his final breaths. Loy places a shaking hand on Satchel’s cheek as Satchel stares in his eyes, never flinching. He only looks away after his father’s died.
Season four began with our reliable narrator, Ethelrida (E’myri Crutchfield), laying out the history of the Kansas City mobs. The season comes to a close with Ethelrida reading her history report to her parents around the dining room table as scenes from the season spin across the screen.
The setting shifts and a poised and collected Ethelrida looks directly into the camera and says, “My name is Ethelrida Pearl Smutny. This is my history report.” She stands, picks up two suitcases, and leaves as the screen fades to black and the credits begin.
But, Fargo season four isn’t over just yet.
As the credits roll, Fargo welcomes back Bokeem Woodbine! As you may recall, Woodbine starred as Mike Milligan in season two. You also may recall Ben Whishaw played Rabbi Milligan this season before being swept up by a tornado. Apparently, season four showcases Woodbine’s character’s backstory but doesn’t actually confirm the twist until the final two minutes of the season. It turns out Mike Milligan and Satchel Cannon are one and the same, something many fans have suspected and debated about over the past few months.
As an added bonus, Brad Mann (season two’s Gale Kitchen) is in the driver’s seat while Woodbine’s Mike Milligan loads his gun in the back.
Well played, Noah Hawley. Well played.
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